Norway, the success of a sports policy

Norway was considered the Greatest Sport Nation in the last two years, not only because of his achievements in high performance but fundamentally for his extraordinary social sport, where the practice of numerous individual and collective sports has been encouraged for decades.

It is no coincidence that in 1987, Norway approved a law that guaranteed their children access to sport in all its manifestations, and this as one of the rights and fundamental pillars in society.

So it wasn’t news. Weird Scandinavian things, perhaps thought the vast majority of “specialists” who do not know about sports, except for the results of an elite. Today in Norway more than 70 percent of the population continues to play sports, even after the age of 50, thus being strongly rooted an enviable sports culture.

Norway also becomes visible because it has just won the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. A country of barely five million inhabitants, with a very high quality of life, where mass sport is a strong protagonist, It surpassed the sports and economic powers that have a larger population, better infrastructure, more sponsors and related businesses. In short, all those parameters that are used to measure the contemporary sports success.

Norway is a country with a lot of social openness and could even be classified as liberal in many aspects. However, the presence of the State is also imposing, and the fiscal territories ensure a strong production of gas and oil that allow them to pay for a welfare state, which has mass sports among its main priorities.

I remember when more than 30 years ago I put this country and others like it as example of a possible sports policy in conferences, articles and books. Some interlocutors then smiled with a certain irony and skepticism.

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The pseudo-ideological discussions were the priority over the design of simple, concrete and lasting sports policies. Unfortunately, sport has not been an important part of the agenda of the Argentine governments, and except for that of General Perón, they did not have sport among their priorities.

Few were interested in finding out how it is done to develop successful sports policies in the long term, and that they do not reflect only successful individual projects.

Norway, with the sports culture of its population, shows us a path with enormous simplicity, technical capacity, continuity and without extraordinary expenses, which can be an adaptable response to our realities. You are always on time.

* Former National Sports Director.

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